You said “Goober”. Is this correct?

“Sarah, get me Barney!”
When Andy Taylor wanted to call Barney Fife, he didn’t have to dial the number. His phone didn’t even have a dial, so he just picked it up and asked Sarah to put him through. Life was simpler back in Mayberry.

In the 1960’s, the phones in my house had real rotary dial, and five spins would get you a local call. Then came push-button phones, and with them longer numbers to remember, first seven then ten digits.

Now we get to the good stuff: voice recognition. Cell phone technology is leading the way on this front. By the way, remember when the only person in town with a phone in his car was the sheriff? Even with a rotary dial, this was clearly a tool of the future I could hardly wait for. Anyway, if you haven’t called directory assistance from a cell phone lately, stop reading now and dial 4-1-1. Most likely you’ll not get a person, but a very polite recorded voice.

Fake person: “What city and state please“?
Caller: “Dallas, Texas”
Next, some very soft futuristic sounds that sound, oddly, like the sound heard on Jeopardy while waiting for the categories to sort themselves.
Fake person: “Alright. Now, what listing“?
Caller: “Starbucks”
Fake person: “You said…Starbucks…is this correct“?
Caller: “Yes”
Fake person: “Alright. I’ll connect you now, at no additional charge“.

Cool. Of course it’s not perfect yet; sometimes the fake person can’t quite understand my East Texas speech patterns. Makes me wonder if she would have understood Sheriff Andy Taylor.

Maybe, but somehow I think Andy would have preferred good ol’ Sarah.


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You said “Goober”. Is this correct? — 3 Comments

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